A Weekend in Dog-Friendly Charleston, SC

Posted by Erin Ballinger

Spend a weekend with your hound in Charleston, SC and bask in the Southern charm. With so many pet-friendly things to do in The Holy City, your vacation is sure to be packed full. Get ready to explore Charleston’s parks and plantations, dine at pet-friendly restaurants, shop in boutiques, and tour the city by land and sea with Fido by your side.


Step up your vacay with a stay at Wentworth Mansion. Photo by @summerdashenews

4 p.m. Wentworth Mansion

You and Fido will be greeted with gracious Southern hospitality when you check in at the dog-friendly Wentworth Mansion, located in Charleston’s charming historic district. All guests staying with a pet are booked in one of the 1886 mansion’s Garden Rooms, which have convenient direct access to the courtyard and lawn. During your stay, you’ll be treated to a complimentary full breakfast each morning, afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres, evening port, Sherry or Brandy, and turndown service with housemade chocolates. Treats are always available for your pup at the front desk, and dog-walking or pet-sitting services can be arranged by the concierge. Wentworth Mansion welcomes dogs for an additional fee of $40 per pet, per night.

“Paws” for a moment to enjoy the view! Photo by @thehuggablecav

5 p.m. Joe Riley Waterfront Park

Take a stroll along the Charleston Harbor and enjoy beautiful water views with your four-legged friend at Joe Riley Waterfront Park. If you need a moment to decompress after your travels, sit at one of the park benches and admire the spectacular South Carolina sunset. The park’s walkways are ideal for viewing the waterfront homes and its two large, lighted fountains might even tempt Fido to make a splash.

“I can please haz fried green tomatoes?” Photo by @sweet__little__rosie

6:30 p.m. Poogan’s Porch

Enjoy a Southern farm-to-table supper on the pup-friendly front porch or patio at Poogan’s Porch, named after the beloved neighborhood pooch and owners’ dog who reportedly now haunts the building. Put some South in your mouth in the form of fried green tomatoes or pimiento cheese fritters as a starter. Choose between traditional or contemporary main courses like cornmeal-fried catfish, shrimp and grits, or BBQ mahi-mahi. Then, end the meal on a sweet note with a slice of pecan pie topped with caramel ice cream.

Have a pint with your half-pint pup. Photo by Facebook.com/kuducharleston

8 p.m. Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

Stop by Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer for an after-dinner drink in the courtyard which is a popular hangout for Chucktown dog owners. Sip on a chai latte, double espresso or one of the 20 local and European craft brews on tap as you map out your weekend plans.


Follow the pack to East Bay Dog Park. Photo by @browndogwalkingco

8 a.m. Hazel Parker Playground Dog Run

Start the day with some off-leash play at East Bay Dog Park in downtown Charleston. This fenced hangout, also known as Hazel Parker Playground Dog Park, is popular with local pups on Saturday mornings. Bring a Frisbee or ball for an eye-opening game of fetch with Fido.

The best part of waking up is bacon in your cup! Photo by @bucketthelab

9 a.m. Eli’s Table

After Fido’s morning workout, walk to Eli’s Table for breakfast. The dog-friendly back patio is a welcoming spot to begin the day with a strong cup of coffee and a filling meal. Eli’s serves egg dishes, hearty Southern breakfasts and lighter fare. Popular menu items include Crab and Eggs, the Lowcountry Benedict and Sweet Potato Pancakes. Be sure to try the Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits and order your doggy dining companion a side of cherry wood-smoked bacon.

These dogs enjoyed exploring The Holy City with Bulldog Tours. Photo by BringFido/Courtney

10 a.m. Bulldog Tours

Take a walking tour with Bulldog Tours, which offers pet-friendly excursions year-round. If you visit in December, get into the holiday spirit with its Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour. Your guide will share stories revealing the city’s rich history from 1670 to the present day as you visit sites like Four Corners of Law and The Battery, and see historic private homes. You’ll also be treated to seasonal refreshments at the conclusion of the tour. Bulldog Tours welcomes well-behaved dogs on many year-round outdoor walking tours with advance notice.

Give us the frites! Photo by @2littleassholes

12 p.m. 39 Rue de Jean

After you’ve worked up an appetite traversing the streets of Charleston, head to 39 Rue de Jean for lunch. This quaint French cafe welcomes dogs on its covered patio overlooking an alley on John Street. Choose from French fare like mussels and frites (available in six preparations), onion soup, quiche and Croque Monsieur sandwiches, or sushi from the raw bar.

Shop ‘til Fido drops! Photo by @the_gilly_gram

1 p.m. King Street

Get a little retail therapy and possibly pick up a few souvenirs along King Street. Enjoy a leisurely post-lunch stroll with your pup, where he’ll be welcome inside several stores along this famous Charleston street.

Deck the paws at Woof Gang Bakery! Photo by @charlestonmax

Woof Gang Bakery Charleston on King Street will be one shop that Fido won’t want to miss. The dog bakery sells all kinds of goodies to reward your furry friend for being on his best behavior. From dog treats and bones to collars and toys, Woof Gang Bakery Charleston is sure to have something to make your pup’s tail wag!

Explore Charleston by boat with Adventure Harbor Tours. Photo by Facebook/adventureharbortours

4 p.m. Adventure Harbor Tours

Gather your crew and canine for a 3-hour tour to Morris Island with Adventure Harbor Tours. See Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter from the water and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins along the way. When you arrive, you’ll spend 90 minutes on a walking tour. Your guide will help you find beach treasure and give you an ecological tour of this beautiful, unspoiled island. Tour times can vary due to the tides, so be sure to book ahead.

Mas agua, por favor! Photo by BringFido/Julieann

7 p.m. Taco Boy Downtown

Back on the mainland, grab dinner at Taco Boy Downtown. The Mexican restaurant loves dogs and welcomes them in its heated fiesta courtyard. Start off with fresh guacamole and chips, Mexican Street Corn or a salsa sampler, followed by a few tacos. Quesadillas, salads and rice bowls also are available. Margaritas, cervezas and tequila flights from the bar pair nicely with the cuisine. Fido will stick with water, though.

Sun’s out, tongue’s out! Photo by @baystreetbiergarten

9 p.m. Bay Street Biergarten

After dinner, check out the pet-friendly scene at Bay Street Biergarten. The bar’s heated patio makes it a popular year-round destination for thirsty pups and their owners. Craft beer flows from more than 30 taps at this biergarten inspired by the beer halls of Munich. Pimiento cheese bites, house-made pretzels with smoked cheese sauce and Lusty Monk mustard, and smoked wings are available if you need a late-night snack.


“Why doesn’t our backyard look like this?” Photo by @gidgettheminiaussie

8 a.m. Hampton Park Dog Run

Let Fido run and play at Hampton Park Dog Run. The fenced off-leash area is located in Hampton Park, one of Charleston’s largest and most beautiful public spaces. After a few games of fetch, take your pup on a leashed walk through the impressive gardens tended to by volunteers.

What’s a four-legged word for love? Photo by @etmustphonehome

9 a.m. The Park Cafe

Conveniently located near Hampton Park, The Park Cafe is aptly named and one of the best spots for weekend brunch in the city. Take a seat on the pet-friendly, covered patio and enjoy people-watching while you break the fast. Opt for the cheddar cheese biscuit stuffed with fried chicken, topped with a sunny side up egg and smothered with tomato-redeye gravy, or try out the avocado toast with chili flakes. Don’t forget to order a side of sausage or bacon for your canine companion.

Three’s company. Photo by BringFido/Kristine

10:30 a.m. Pet-Friendly Plantations

After brunch, take a 13-mile drive from downtown Charleston to begin your self-guided tour of Lowcountry plantations at Drayton Hall. The property dates back to 1738 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States. Tour the grounds that represent one of the most significant, undisturbed historic landscapes in America with your leashed pup. Dogs are welcome on the two self-guided nature walks but they are not allowed on tours inside the house or inside any of the buildings on the property.

Everything’s coming up magnolias! Photo by BringFido/Melissa Halliburton

Make your next stop nearby at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which has beautiful cultivated landscapes you can explore with Fido. But, the real treat here is that four-legged visitors are allowed on tram tours. Small pups that can be carried are even permitted inside the plantation house. In addition to the gardens, there are many dog-friendly nature trails on the property.

Home Team is twinning! Photo by @balto.lucy.dinga

1 p.m. Home Team BBQ West Ashley and Depart Charleston With a Pooped Pooch

Before heading home, make your way to Home Team BBQ for some South Carolina ‘cue. The restaurant welcomes your pup on the patio with a bowl of fresh water. Try one of the BBQ joint’s infamous Bushwhackers to drink if you’re not driving; otherwise stick to sweet tea alongside a pulled pork sandwich or BBQ burrito, taco or combo platter. Once your bellies are full, depart with a pooped pooch and plans to visit Charleston again.

Have you visited Charleston with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @charlestonmax.